Saturday, June 27, 2009

"That Ain't What I Said!"

Hebrews 4: 13 “And there is no creature hidden from his sight, but all things are open and laid bare before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”

We have all heard about the dumb criminal who robbed the convenience store after filling out an application for employment and turning it in with his real name and phone number on it. The police simply read the application and went to his home and arrested him. Here are a few other situations illustrating the truth that “all things are open and laid bare before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."

The men in the police line-up stood stood facing a mirror on the wall. Behind it was the victim who was about to identify the one who had stolen her purse. The men were being told to repeat the same sentence the thief had said to the woman when he robbed her. The officer addressed the first man, “Suspect number one, step forward, hold out your hand and say, ‘Give me all your money.’” The man complied. The officer then gave the same instructions to the second man who then stepped forward and said, “Give me all your money.” But the third man, after receiving the same instructions, became irritated and looked up at the glass and said, “That ain’t what I said!”

Here is a true story from a courtroom trial. The prosecuting attorney was questioning a witness who had seen two men running out of a convenience store after they had robbed it. The attorney said, “Now you say that you met two men running out of the store as you were walking into the store? You say each had a gun in his hand, and one was carrying a bag.” The prosecutor then began to turn slowly toward the couroom as he continued to query the witness,“Now, are these two men in the courtroom today?" But before the witness could respond, everyone, including the jury, noticed that the two defendants had raised their hands.

I bought a bottle of cologne that I had never tried before. It smelled pretty good, at least on everyone else. I splashed some on my face, and then walked out to the car. I sat in the driver’s seat waiting for my mother to get in. She opened the door, sat down, tilted her head up, and began sniffing the air. She then looked down at the bottoms of her feet as she said to me, “Billy, check the bottom of your shoes and see if you stepped in any dog poop before you got in the car.” I knew it was the cologne, but said nothing about it. I just went through the motions of checking my shoe soles. I did not use that cologne any more after that.

Years ago I was babysitting my 4 or 5 year old sister Kay and her cousin Ginger who had come to visit and spend the night with her. They were playing hide and go seek, and Kay had gone into the bed room and was hiding behind the bed. Ginger entered the room smiling and laughing and began searching behind the doors and in the closet trying to find her. So as Ginger was standing beside me and searching the room, I called out to Kay, “Kay, be very quite. Don’t make a sound. Don’t say a word.” Immediately from behind the bed, a little voice called out, “I not!” Ginger looked at me with a big smile and then ran straight to the hiding place.

Numbers 32:23 “Be sure, your sins will find you out.”

The lesson in these unrelated stories illustrate the utter foolishness of our attempting to hide who we are. It is not only impossible to hide from God, but neither can we hide from those around us. Who we really are is ultimately revealed in our words, our countenance, and our behavior. The smell of our “bad cologne” will expose us. And if we are good at hiding it, we must remember the old proverbs that tell us the “walls have ears” and “the little birdie” will tell someone. We are like the goldfish in the bowl. We cannot run away from home and there is nowhere to hide. So it is best to have an honest heart before the Lord, for He loves us and will give grace for reality if we will face it. He does not give grace for pretend. The apostle John said that if we confess our sin, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


just joe said...

good post Billy! and excellent illustrations of the need to be transparent.

Billy Long said...

Thanks, Joseph.

Billy Long said...

[Below is a comment sent to me by a dear friend. With his permission I am posting his email. -BL]

Loved your two most recent blogs. The last one is a perfect follow up to the one before it, and ministers that honest transparency we all need to have increase in us. The idea of "putting on airs" tends to evaporate in the ministry of those words. Thanks for taking the time to post it.